Have you ever wondered what the epidemiology of a zombie apocalypse would really look like?

Now, thanks to researchers from Cornell University, you can watch the whole thing play out on their interactive map – all from the safety of your own home. Simply place a zombie in your home-town, and watch the lights start to go out – as first towns, then states, and then the whole damn country succumbs to the zombie epidemic.

medium

The underlying model for the interactive map was published last year. The research, however, isn’t all fun and games. The scientists have utilized the parameters of a zombie-style outbreak as it is a “wonderful model” to investigate the mathematics of epidemiological modelling. Rather than using the standard “SIR model” (susceptible-infected-recovered), they have adapted the underlying statistical mechanics to an “SZR model” (susceptible-zombie-removed). Such a model could actually have relevance in real-life scenarios (such as Ebola) where runaway infections cause medical personnel to themselves become a real problem, acting as a vector for further spread of disease.

And the upshot for the zombie apocalypse? “After four weeks, much of the United States has fallen, but it takes a very long time for the zombies to diffuse and capture the remaining portions of the United States. Even four months in, remote areas of Montana and Nevada remain zombie free.”